Understanding Judgment

In coming into an understanding of the heart of God, I found that judgment is a wonderful thing. The judgment that we have been taught in traditional Christianity has given us a false concept of God. One of these false concepts is this: "There is going to come a day when God is going to pour out His vengeance, wrath and anger upon humanity because of their rejection of Him, and disobedience to Him. God is so angry at mankind that He is going to pour out horrible tortures upon them and then send them to a fiery torment where they will be tortured in unending agony throughout all of eternity." ?

We are taught this concept mainly due to two things:

    1. Mistranslation of God’s Word.
    2. Natural understanding, rather than spiritual interpretation.

A natural, carnal understanding of the Word has caused almost all the conflicts between believers. You can have a natural understanding of the Bible and still miss God. Spiritual understanding of the Word only comes through seeking God intimately and spending much time in His presence. The Bible was never meant to be taken strictly intellectually with the natural understanding and interpretation. The Apostle Paul said that the Word of God is a mystery. The plan of God is hidden from the natural, carnal mind of man. The natural mind cannot understand deep spiritual truths. Natural man can only understand with his natural mind. To be able to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, you must have a heart that is seeking only God and His truth. It is very easy to get this heart just by going to God in a very simple way and asking Him to capture your heart for His purpose and to open to you the mysteries of the Word. Ask Him for the spiritual interpretation of His Word.

We will see in this message the way in which God judges. We will see that His judgment is just and righteous, not vengeful and hateful. "With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (Isa. 26:9). "Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations" (Ps. 82:8).

You can see from the above verses that judgment is a thing to be desired. When God judges the earth, the people will learn righteousness and then God shall inherit all nations. God sends His judgments for correction, to teach you His righteous ways.

Judgment Is to Be Taken Seriously

Judgment is not to be taken lightly. If you sow to the flesh, you will most certainly reap the flesh. "For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him?" (Heb. 2:2-3).

In these days, we are hearing the wonderful message of reconciliation and sonship. We can all feel the nearness of the day of Jubilee for us. There is soon coming a day in which the firstfruits of God will be loosed from the bondage of corruption and shall fully reveal and manifest to the world the fullness of God. If we neglect the prophetic voices in the land today proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom, we will be among the most sorrowful. We shall not escape the judgment and the reward of our disobedience. We must all seek the Lord as never before, asking Him to enlighten our darkness and enable us to rise in the power of His Spirit to conquer the flesh.

The writer of Hebrews tells us that the gospel of the New Testament far transcends the Covenant given in the Old Testament. The Gospel of grace far surpasses the message of the law in that in the Gospel of grace is the power to deliver you and to cause you to walk in the character and nature of God. That is why God judges us. His judgment is for correction to cause us to turn back to Him as our source of life.

Three Ways God Judges

There are basically three ways that God judges us:

1. For past sins.

2. As sons.

3. As servants.

The First Judgment Was for the Sins of the Past

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (1 Pet. 3:18).

"To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor. 5:19-21). It is very clear by these verses that God is not imputing sin to us, which means He is not holding us accountable. In Christ, we are made the righteousness of God.

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Pet. 2:24).

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

I often ask this question: Did Jesus really take away the sins of the world? Most Christians don’t really believe that He did.

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2).

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God" (Rom. 3:23-25). Romans 3:23 is used repeatedly in gospel messages and normally is read as a standalone verse, but verse 23 should never be read without verse 24. Verse 23 is not the end of the sentence, but goes on to say that all who sinned have been freely justified by His grace. This is the good news.

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:6). For every wrong that I have ever done, Jesus took the iniquity on Himself, and not only for my sins but also for the sins of the whole world.

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost" (John 19:30). When Jesus said, "It is finished," the word "finished" meant the debt had been paid.

Strongs #5055: teleo (tel-eh’-o); from 5056; to end, i.e. complete, execute, conclude, discharge (a debt): accomplish, make an end, expire, fill up, finish, go over, pay, perform. (Strongs Concordance)

As Jesus was dying, with His last breath, He said, "The debt has been paid."

Oh, how we need to know the depth of those words "It is finished!" Your debt has been paid. Do you have things in your life that aggravate you from time to time? Do you have problems with your temper? Do you have things in your life that just pop up once in a while that you would rather not be there? I’m telling you according to the Word of God that the debt has been paid. The judgment for your sin nature has been paid. As I have said so many times before, you need not be condemned for the nature that Adam gave to you. You need to be transformed by the Spirit of God growing in you. God has already judged the sin of the world at the cross. The sin is that carnal nature that the Apostle Paul talks about in Romans, chapter 7, that you were born with. That is the debt which has been paid in full. Everything that your carnal nature does was paid for at the cross. Although God is not condemning us for our carnality, He is judging us. A better word for judgment is "correction", because the word judgment today has a bad connotation to it. Most people relate God’s judgment with a terrible wrath and anger. Correction doesn’t sound so harsh; it is, but it doesn’t make us think of anger and wrath. Because God loves us and wants us to be transformed into His likeness and image, He brings chastisement upon us.

The Penalty for Sin

If what we have been taught in the past is true about judgment, if the penalty for sin and unrepentance is eternal torment, then Jesus could not have possibly paid that price for sin, or He would have to be eternally tormented. There is something drastically wrong with the concepts we have received from the Word due to translation errors. When Jesus said, "The debt has been paid," it was like a divine eraser that erased the sin of the world. Oh, how the world needs to hear the good news of the gospel! They are not going to be judged because of the nature they received from Adam. We have been taught that God is a vengeful God and that because some have lived many years in disobedience and rejected God, He is going to pour out His vengeful wrath upon His creation. God is going to pour out His wrath, but His wrath is for correction and reproof and is not vindictive. We are taught that because man has inherited this antichrist nature, and because he does what his nature dictates, that God will torture him forever in unending torment. This ungodly message, more than anything else, has so distorted the image of our Father God. It makes the cross of none effect for those who have not the will power to change and accept the religious traditions of modern day Pharisees. God does not condemn you for acting out of your human life. It is natural for you to live from the life that Adam gave to you. God is judging you and will continue to judge you, not because of you living by the life that you inherited from Adam, but because He loves you and His judgment and correction is to get you to turn to Him.

We Are Judged As Sons

"Beloved, now are we the sons (children) of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).

When you look at me, I still reflect so much of my carnal nature. I am not even close to being perfected, but it does not yet appear what I will be. God is doing a work in me (and in you), and one day we shall be like Him. Because of His judgments and corrections and because of His great and mighty love for us, there will come a day when He shall appear, and when He appears, we shall be like Him. That’s because when He appears, He is going to appear in us. He is not only coming physically as the man Jesus our redeemer, but He will also appear in us.

We are children of God right now by position. We are children because God paid the price to redeem us. Whether a person realizes it or not, the blood of the Lamb has redeemed them. In position, we are the children of God, but we must not just settle for the knowledge of our position, we must grow up to become sons in character and in nature. That is one reason why we are judged.

"For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world" (1 Cor. 11:31-32).

To judge yourself means simply to be transparent. Don’t try to hide and cover yourself up. I go to God every day with things in my life that are still carnal and not fully dealt with. We must be honest and transparent before God.

"And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby" (Heb. 12:5-11).

You can see by these verses that God judges us as sons. If we really understood what judgment was for we would go to God daily for His correction. I want God to judge me now. I do not want to pass from this life and then realize how far I have missed God. It is much better to go to God every day and ask Him to deal with us now in whatever way it takes to correct us.

Most Christians, because they do not understand judgment, think that the devil is their problem. Nothing could be further from the truth. I can boldly tell you that the devil is not your problem. We have been so blinded by some of the religious teaching we have had. We have a tremendous problem and it is right between our ears. It is called the mind. Carnal nature and carnal thinking is our problem. The devil does exactly what he was created to do. The devil is a tool in the hand of the Lord that He will use to perfect His saints. I realize this is not a traditional concept of the devil, but he is not your problem. The only power that the devil has over you is in your unrenewed mind. Once your mind begins to be renewed in the things of God, and you go to God daily and seek Him for His correction and reproof, seek Him to have a nature transformation on the inside of you, you will find that the devil is not the problem. Christians for years have blamed their problems on the devil outside of them, instead of taking responsibility for their actions.

I have been through some horrible chastisements in the past, thinking it was the devil trying to destroy me. There is the law of sowing and reaping that has nothing to do with the devil fighting you. "If you sow to the flesh, you will of the flesh reap corruption" (Gal. 6:8).

Jesus said, "Narrow is the way that leads to life" (Matt. 7:14). I used to think that meant that narrow is the way to go to heaven and few there be that find it. That is the traditional concept. I thought if I did good all my life that when I died I would go to heaven. However the narrow way that leads to life is referring to God’s life. Jesus said, "I am come that you might have life" (John 10:10). The life that He refers to here is the life of the Spirit, the abundant life of the Spirit of God flowing in us. The reason that Jesus died was so that He could take away your stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh and cause you to walk in His statutes. "And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them" (Ezek. 36:27). This is why we are judged.

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil" (Jer. 13:23). God doesn’t correct you, thinking that you’re going to whip yourself into line with your carnal nature. The judgment is to get you to turn to Him, and then from His Spirit within you, you will find the strength to live for Him. When you learn to turn to Him instead of trying to get your natural carnal life to live godly, His Spirit begins to operate in you and enables the Spirit to infiltrate all the areas of your life that need transformation. This judgment has nothing to do with the natural man learning obedience. Yes, you must learn obedience, but your obedience must come from the new creation man created in Christ Jesus. "If you through the spirit put to death the deeds of the body you shall live" (Rom. 8:13).

Turning Your Heart to Him

If you will just spend time with God every day to get to know him, you will find yourself being transformed into His desire for your life. Whenever the heart turns to the Lord, the veil begins to be removed (2 Cor. 3:16). We must learn to turn our hearts moment by moment to the Lord. There is none of us who are so carnal that we cannot turn our hearts to Him at least a little every day.

This is why we are judged as sons. We are judged so that we will turn to God for the supply of the Spirit, not to get us to try and make new resolutions to do better. I used to say "Lord, today I will do this and I won’t do that." That does not work. If you have been a Christian very long, you know it doesn’t work. However, if you turn your heart to Him, in your seeking of Him, you will realize that the debt has been paid. I may have some things in my life that shouldn’t be there, that haven’t been overcome yet, but that is why He died. I cannot save myself from the works of my flesh. WE need a saviour. Just because we are Christians doesn’t mean that all of a sudden we are super spiritual persons that will always be obedient to God. There are times when our flesh gets the best of us. If, on the other hand, you don’t want to be obedient to God, then you are probably not born again. The Spirit probably has not yet regenerated you. However, wanting to do something does not necessarily give you the power to do it. Only God can give you the strength and power to overcome the dictates of the flesh and live according to the Spirit. That is why we must seek God. Remember that every time you seek God and contact Him in your spirit, something of His divine essence is added to your being and a killing aspect is released to your flesh. "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).

There is no other way to be an overcomer. We cannot be good enough in ourselves to please God and overcome the flesh. We must contact God in spirit. We must be transformed by the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. Even if we do have a strong natural will and can be obedient, it is to no avail. Of course, it is better to be obedient than disobedient, but in God’s eyes, our obedience must be by His Spirit in our spirit, flowing into and transforming our natural life for God to be pleased. "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" (Isa. 64:6). Our righteousness is anything we do from the natural man, or good man. The best we can produce for God from our natural goodness is as filthy rags.

We Are Judged As Servants

"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works" (Matt. 16:27).

We are judged according to what we do and how we do it. Do you go to church every Sunday? Do you read your Bible every day? Are you a "Good Christian"? You may discover when God judges you that some of those things were to no avail. How could that be, you say? When God comes in judgment, He is not looking for good people, He is looking for Christ. He is looking for His Son in you. How much of Christ has been worked into you? If you stand in God’s presence and hear Him say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant," it will be because Christ has been formed in you. You would have to fall at His feet and give Him the glory for working His life into you. In all the things that I have accomplished for God, I can never see where I have done anything, but I can always see the miraculous power of God that has been working in my life. I cannot personally take credit for anything. This is why if we are given a crown in the natural sense of the word, we will throw it at His feet. It is He who deserves the crown. It is God who has worked in us both the willing and the doing of His good pleasure.

We Shall Be Tried by Fire

"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (1 Cor. 3:11-15).

The judgment here is what you used to build on the foundation and how you did it. The foundation is "Christ in you". When we are regenerated by the Spirit, the foundation is laid. How you build on that foundation in yourself and in others is what you will be judged for. You can build with gold, silver and precious stones, or wood, hay and stubble.

Building with wood, hay and stubble represents building with our human nature. Anyone who has studied typology will tell you that wood represents human nature. For instance, the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament was a type of Christ. The Ark was made of wood overlaid with gold, signifying that Jesus was human and divine. Gold represents the divine nature.

To build on the foundation with wood simply means that we work by and with our human nature. This can be very good. We can teach Sunday school, be a missionary in Africa, give a tenth of all we receive, and write Christian books. These are all very good things, but if they are done out of our natural human effort, our works will be burned up when the fires of judgment come. Wood is consumed in the fire. An example of this is Cain’s offering. He brought the best his hands could produce and offered it to God, but God rejected it. Able didn’t bring anything of himself; he just brought an offering according to God’s direction.

We can build with wood or gold. Gold represents divinity, the divine life. So these two items, wood and gold, represent two ways to build on the foundation of Christ. I can build by, through, and in the Spirit, or I can build with the natural human religious concept and work for God all of my life, and when judgment comes, everything will be burned up. I won’t be lost, but I will go through the fire. This judgment is not just a future event; this takes place at various times in the Christian life. Many work for God for years, and then realize they did it with human effort and not by the Spirit.

Building With Gold

We must learn that everything that has lasting value and can withstand the fires of judgment is only that which we do out of the Spirit of God within us. "Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain" (Ps. 127:1). Unless it is Jesus Christ in me, by His divine life and nature flowing through my humanity, my work is in vain. It is what we do by the power of the Spirit, not by natural human resources, that will gain the Lord’s favor. In the book of the Revelation, we are told that the New Jerusalem has streets of gold. Streets represent the walk and gold represents the divine nature. This simply means that those who are living in the reality of the Kingdom of God, which is the city of God, are walking in the divine nature. The New Jerusalem is to be entered into now. John said, "And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Rev. 21:2-3). Christianity always puts things off in the future. There is a day coming when the New Jerusalem will be realized fully in a people, but we must begin to enter into the experience now or we will miss it in the future. If we are progressively walking in the Spirit, we are being transformed into His image and are walking at least in a degree today in the New Jerusalem.

Building With Silver

We must not only build with gold, but with silver. Silver in typology means redemption. There should not be anyone on this earth who does not know that they have been redeemed. Jesus paid the price of their redemption on the cross. There will come a day, because of our Father’s heart and His love for humanity, that He will cause all to bow before Him in worship. No one should feel as though they are not redeemable in His sight, no matter how bad or corrupt they are. We should be building on the foundation with the redemption of Jesus. No matter how many times we sin and miss the mark, we must realize the silver. We have been redeemed back to God, purchased by His blood, and we belong to Him. And because we belong to Him, He will continually judge us and work in us, until one day we will stand complete in Him, giving Him all the glory and honor. His fire will one day purify everyone who comes to this earth.

We are not transformed by lighting candles, by saying long and repetitive prayers, by reading the Bible or by anything else we may do. Our redemption is based on His work. If we could have possibly made it into the Kingdom by our good works and human effort, then the Cross would not have been necessary. Oh, how the world needs to know that they are redeemed! The price was paid. God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not holding men’s trespasses against them. To build with silver means to build with redemption in mind. We are not trying to get people saved. We realize that the Blood of Jesus redeemed every person. We just need to let people know of their redemption. We are not saved by our performance. The system of Christianity is a performance-based religion. Christians are not built with redemption, but with performance. If you are good, God will bless you, if you are bad, you go to hell. How sad that the gospel of salvation for all has been reduced to a performance. If you understand redemption, you can minister to a prostitute without condemning her. You get her to understand that God loves her just the way she is and that he paid the price for her sin at Calvary. Because of that, she can turn to Him and fellowship with Him and find that her life will be transformed, not by her performance, but by His Spirit arising within her. Once God begins to grow in her, she will forsake her old way of life and begin to flow in the new. Oh, how I wish the world could have the realization of His redemption! One day all the peoples of the earth will know of this marvelous plan.

Building With Precious Stones

We build on the foundation with gold (the flowing of divine life), with silver (redemption, what he has done for you, not what you can do for Him), and with precious stones (the transformation of the inner man). Precious stones are precious by transformation. A natural stone has gone through a process and become precious. In the books of Genesis and the Revelation, we see a river with precious stones. The river represents the Spirit. In our spirit is the flowing of the Holy Spirit and as we continually turn our hearts toward the Spirit in our spirit, the river in us begins to flow. As the river flows from our spirit into our soul, our soul is transformed into precious stones. The natural man becomes transformed by the flowing of God’s Spirit within. If you minister as a precious stone, then your ministry changes people. A true minister dispenses the life of God. We become ministers of the New Covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. As we speak or write, people are fed with the Spirit of life, and life always brings change. If you are living, you are always changing. Dead things never change. That says volumes about the system of Christianity. If you never advance beyond the fundamentals of Christianity, then you are dead and not alive. If you have been a Christian for a few years and you are the same today as when you were saved, you are not alive, but dead. To be alive means that Christ has quickened you by His Spirit and He is constantly bringing change and transformation to your life. You can only be effectual in ministry by ministering what you have experienced. What you have experienced of God, you can minister to another. You can go to Bible school and learn how to prepare sermons, how to market your ministry, and learn homiletics and hermeneutics, but that will not qualify you to minister life. When people feel a call of God on their life, most of them immediately fall into the trap of religion. When the Apostle Paul was called, he was taught of the Lord. Larry Hodges, in his article on the "Oxcarts" from The Shofar Letters, issue 6, 1997, says:

When God had summarily arrested this man, Saul of Tarshish, He did not send him to the Bible School at Jerusalem with its noted teachers and preachers. They undoubtedly had the credentials. They had been eyewitnesses to things others would never know unless they told them. They had personally been with Jesus for more than three years. They heard more fall from His very lips than most men of that day ever hoped to hear in their lives. They had been designated by the Lord Himself to help lay the foundations of the Church! What a wonderful opportunity for this young man, Saul of Tarshish! A year or two under this sort of ministry and he could be trusted to be sent (of Man) any place with the gospel of the kingdom.

But God did not send His man, who was to become the apostle of apostles, to Jerusalem for instruction and training for ministry. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9). God turns this young man toward the desert’s school of obscurity and isolation and a crash course in intimacy with God. There is something infinitely better than merely knowing the Bible. It is knowing the Bible’s Author.

"But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother."

This is why the apostle Paul could say he was a minister, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. He ministered by the Spirit, not from a book of prewritten sermons or learned Bible knowledge. He was ministering as a precious stone in God’s Kingdom. He had the transforming power of the Spirit of God in his life. To minister by intellectually learned knowledge is to build with wood, hay and stubble. When God comes to bring judgment, wood, hay and stubble will be burned up. The fire does not consume the gold, silver and precious stones.

The Ten Virgins

"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (Matt. 25:1-13).

Here there are ten virgins. The wise had oil in their vessels. The vessel represents our soul. The lamp represents the spirit. Jesus said, "That which is born of Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). That part of you that is regenerated, quickened and made alive begins in your spirit. Proverbs 20:27 says, "The spirit of man is the candle (light) of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly." The spirit of man is the lamp. When God comes to you in judgment, it is not enough just to have your spirit regenerated. God wants your whole being—spirit, soul and body—to be transformed into His likeness. First our spirit is regenerated, then our soul is to be transformed and then even our body will be made like unto His glorious body. God is processing a group of people today who will be the manifested sons of God. This is why judgment comes. And it is not just a future judgment but we are judged continually. If it was only a future judgment, then when we pass from this life, we will have it all to face then. We need to pray for God’s judgment and correction in our lives now, so that when we do pass on, we will be judged as faithful and true servants. Judgment is a wonderful thing when you understand that it is for your correction and your lessons in righteousness. God’s judgment comes out of His love for us.

The Wise Had Oil in Their Vessels

The wise virgins had paid the price during their daily lives to have the oil in their vessels. "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent" (Rev. 3:18-19).

Our vessel (soul) represents our unrenewed mind, emotion, and will. Our mind desperately needs to be renewed. The natural (carnal) and especially the religious mind need to be renewed. In our spirit dwells the mind of Christ. This mind that is in Christ Jesus can also flow into your natural mind so that you begin to think like God thinks. As the mind of Christ begins to infiltrate your natural mind, you begin to realize first of all that you and God are one. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit" (1 Cor. 6:17). Everything that God is, is in our spirit waiting to flow into and saturate every fiber of our being. You begin to have true discernment between your flesh and spirit. You are never condemned, because you know the flesh will never be able to please God. Our only hope is Jesus Christ in us as the transforming power to change us into what He is. When you come out of religion you begin to see and experience true spirituality, and it is nothing like you thought it was while you remained in Babylon. In Babylon (the religious systems), you will always be condemned for not measuring up to a standard. The only standard there is for the Christian life is Jesus, and the natural man can never meet that standard. However, the Spirit of God in you will transform you totally into what He is. We are one with God, not in our soul (mind, emotion & will), but in our spirit. When we learn to contact God in our spirit is when the oil begins to flow into our vessel. We then become one with Him in our vessels. This is a life-long process, so be patient with yourself. You must learn unlimited forgiveness for yourself; you’re going to need it.

Our natural will and emotions need to be renewed. When you begin to seek God for who He is, and He begins to grow in you, then from your spirit where the light, life, character and nature of God is, God begins to infiltrate every area of your being, transforming your soul into His image. That is having oil in your vessel. It is not that you take your natural will and try to be obedient to God. That doesn’t work. We need the will of the Spirit that has been birthed within our spirit to grow up and flow into our natural will so that we become soft and pliable to do His will.

Our untamed emotions must be brought under the control of our spirit. A Christian functioning from natural emotions is what we used to call an "elevator Christian"; one day they’re up; the next day they’re down. One day you’re full of love for someone and the next day, when they do something you don’t like, your love turns sour. When someone hurts you, you feel rejection, bitterness and resentment. When the spiritual emotions begin to flow into your natural emotions, they too become transformed. You then experience what Jesus taught in Matthew 5. You can bless those that curse you and do good to those that despitefully use you.

The wise virgins had paid the price, they had judged themselves in their daily life and the spirit flowed into their vessels.

The Foolish Virgins

The foolish virgins had not enough oil in their vessels. They had not taken the time to spend in His presence to have His spirit overtake their natural man. They had been regenerated. They had oil in their lamps (spirits) but they were not transformed into His image. The foolish were told to go and buy for themselves. They still had to go and pay the price to have the oil in their vessels. Christians think that when they die they are going to go to a place called heaven and everything is going to be wonderful. There are many verses in the Bible that prove this is a false gospel. I have said many times, death has no power to change you into His likeness. You enter the Kingdom of God through much suffering and tribulation. That is because everything we are must decrease so that He increases. The majority of God’s people are lazy, indifferent, and never seek God with all their hearts and then they are taught that when they die they will be changed into His likeness and everything will be wonderful. This is a devilish doctrine.

Many foolish virgins today are waiting for a rapture that is going to lift them from the earth and then they will party while the rest of mankind suffers the wrath of God. This is a grievous doctrine to the Father-heart of God. If you were raptured into His presence and you stood there in your carnality and your foolishness, His presence would be a fire that would consume you. You cannot look upon God until you are transformed into His likeness.

Some of us, when we pass from this life, may hear these very words: "You cannot come in to the wedding, you have no oil in your vessels, so now you must go and buy. Even though you have passed from the earthly plane to the spiritual plane, you still have to pay the price." You may think today that you are getting away with a lot, but when judgment comes, you will still pay the price of transformation. Praise the Lord that the foolish will still have the opportunity to buy, but they will miss the wedding feast.

Being Cast Into Outer Darkness

"His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 25:26-30).

Can you imagine hearing these words when you thought all your life you were a pretty good Christian? You have gone to church, tithed your money, maybe taught Sunday school, you have done all these things and you’re looking to go to heaven and be happy ever after. Instead you hear, "Cast that unprofitable servant into outer darkness." You said no to the Lord too many times. He didn’t ask you for a lot. Do you know what He asks of you? He simply asks, "Will you come unto Me?" He doesn’t say come and work, come and teach Sunday school, or go to Africa. He just says, "Come unto Me and I will not put you to work but I will rest you. Religion will work you, but I give my servants rest. When you come to Me you can learn to just rest and sit in My presence and get to know me. And I will reveal to you the inner depths of your being, your spirit, where you will find that I dwell. Then from our communion and fellowship you will begin to be like I am." That is all He asks for. Your time given to sit in His presence and learn of Him will cause the oil of His spirit to flow from your spirit into your vessel.

"And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 8:11-12).

He said this to the Jews, but the Christians of today are not much different. They think they are God’s chosen people, and everyone else is going to hell. Jesus said, "Many will come from the east and west and sit in the kingdom, but the children of the kingdom will be cast out." Do you know what that meant to the Jews? To their way of thinking, they were the only people of God and everyone else was a gentile. What He said to the Jews of His day he would say to the Christians of today. "Many of the people you consider ‘unsaved’ will be ushered into the Kingdom and you will be cast into outer darkness." There are people sitting in our churches today who will be cast into outer darkness, while many of the people they consider unsaved will be ushered into the Kingdom. I know that is hard to believe but it is the truth. How could a prostitute be ushered into the Kingdom and a Christian be cast into outer darkness? It is a matter of the heart. God does not require perfection; he requires honesty of heart. This is not just a future happening, but is also happening now.

Coming to the Light

Jesus said, "He that does truth comes to the light." God wants us to be transparent. It doesn’t matter how bad we are, if we have a heart that seeks after God. No matter how many faults and hang-ups you have, if you are seeking God in your daily life, you will be ushered into His presence before someone who is self-righteous, and always goes to church, and always reads their Bible. What you only know intellectually will do you no good when judgment comes. Everything of the natural man is of no use to God. This is why the way that leads to life is so narrow (Matt. 7:14). The way to life is so narrow that nothing of our self-life can get through the gate. You cannot carry anything with you of the old carnal nature. "He must increase, I must decrease." Everything that we are in the natural must be transformed into the spiritual. This is a hard and fearful thing on the flesh. However, we will continue to be judged until we are fully submitted and conformed to His will.

To come to the light simply means that we need to always be transparent. Do not try to hide, as Adam did in the garden. Not only do we need to be transparent as individuals, but we also need to be transparent as a Church.

I have often shared about Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. If our churches would only be like their meetings, we could win multitudes for Christ. The alcoholics that attend those meetings are very transparent. They are not performing when they come to meetings. They do not try to be something they are not when they meet together. You can go to their meetings and no one expects you to be or do anything. You are perfectly welcome to be just who you are with no pretense. No matter how bad you are, no one tries to change you in an outward way, but they all try to help you. You can go into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and say, "I really blew it last night and got drunk again," and they will just forgive you and help you no matter how many times you fall back into it. If our churches would allow people to be transparent and still love them, they would find themselves ministering to many more than they are now. You wouldn’t dare to come to church and say, "I fell into fornication last night." We judge each other so wrongly sometimes. Do you know that a man who falls under temptation and commits fornication is not necessarily a fornicator? A fornicator is a fornicator by lifestyle. We all have things in our life that occasionally get the best of us. What did Jesus say? "He who is without sin let him cast the first stone" (John 8:7). A lot of God’s people are hurting because they have fallen into fornication, or their flesh has gotten the best of them in other areas and the church won’t have anything to do with them. It takes the Spirit of the Living God to rise up in you before you can totally overcome in any area of the flesh.

There were some things in my life that I thought I would never overcome, but eventually, one by one, the Lord infiltrated those areas and I was set free. We cannot be transparent in our churches, because we all have to pretend to be "Holy" and righteous. We have to act religious because we don’t dare let people really know some of the things that are inside of us. We don’t dare let them know some of the things we suffer in the flesh. We are all in the same place, but nobody wants to admit it. We have to hide under the guise of a Christian code of conduct. This hiding under the religious cloak is why the children of the Kingdom will be cast into outer darkness. This is not just a future judgment. Many of God’s people today have been cast into outer darkness because of hiding from the light. To be in outer darkness simply means you cannot see spiritual things. You can understand some religious things with the natural mind, but you cannot take and understand the meat of the Word. If Christ is not being formed in you, if the living water is not flowing in you, if you are just going to church and being religious, then you are in darkness.

Let God Expose Your Darkness

You must come to the light and let God expose your darkness. "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:5-7).

I have, in the past, sought God in ignorance, asking Him to cause me to walk in the light, because I used to think that to walk in the light would mean that I would have no habitual sin in my life and I would be totally obedient to God. Then one day, God revealed to me what walking in the light really means. If you are in darkness, you can’t see. In a dark room, nothing is visible. However, if you turn on the light, you immediately see all things. You can see the beautiful furniture as well as the dirt in the corner.

When you are walking in the light of God, you can see all the good changes He has wrought in your life, but you can also see all the imperfections and habits that still need to be overcome. You are always humbled in the light, because no matter how much transformation has taken place in you, there are still so many unholy things about you that need the Spirit’s transforming power. This is truly wonderful, because if we walk in the light, always exposed and transparent to God, the Blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from all sin, and because we are transparent, we have fellowship with one another, knowing that none of us are yet perfected, but we are cleansed by the Blood of Jesus. Hallelujah for such a gospel! This takes all the performing out of the gospel. We are free to be who we are and still love God and one another, knowing that He is working in us, and will continue to bring judgment to us until we are fully transformed in spirit, soul and body. Transformation is a lifelong process.

We must begin to understand that everything that comes in our life, without exception, is there for a reason. I know that’s a hard thing to hear, but nevertheless true.

My brother, Dal Quackenbush, often comments about how I can laugh in any situation. Carol and I have gone through some terrible things, but nothing can take our joy. We know Who is in control and "know that all things work together for good". We must receive in simple faith, that God has a perfect plan and purpose for our lives and He is in control of even our adverse circumstances. The more we fight against what we think are adverse circumstances, and the more we don’t realize the hand of God in it, the longer it will last.

The Wedding Garment

"Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt. 22:8-13).

This is an amazing parable. Those who were bidden to the wedding feast were not worthy. He is not talking here just about the Jews, but also New Testament Christianity. This is the wedding feast of the Lamb. Those who were bidden (the Christians?) were not worthy. I can hear many saying on that day, "But Lord, we received Jesus as Savior. I remember walking up an aisle and confessing it. I was told that if I confessed you, I would go to heaven and everything would be OK. I even cast out devils and healed the sick in Your name. I went to church and read my Bible." He may say, "Depart from me" (Matt. 7:23).

Those who were bidden were not worthy, so He said to go out and gather both bad and good. To the Christian mindset, this verse does not make sense. According to our concepts, the ones who were not worthy should have been the bad people, but not so. The requirement for being in the wedding feast was to have on a wedding garment. I have repeatedly said that it doesn’t matter how good or how bad you are, what matters is your heart condition. There are a lot of people in the world whom Christians would call bad, who have a heart for God but have not been able to overcome the flesh. And it is mainly due to the religious traditions that have kept them in darkness and bondage. It isn’t really their fault.

What Is the Wedding Garment?

"Kings’ daughters were among thy honorable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir" (Ps. 45:9).

"The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework" (Ps. 45:13-14).

In relationship to the Father, we are the daughters. In relationship to the Son, we are the Queen.

The requirement for being in the Lord’s wedding feast is that you must have on a wedding garment. This wedding garment is much more than just a regeneration experience. To have on a wedding garment, you are one who walks in the Kingdom of God as a living reality.

The Queen standing in gold means that she stood in the divine life of God. The daughter is all glorious within. She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework. Her clothing is of wrought gold

The wedding garment is both raiment (outer clothing) and needlework (inward transformation). This simply means that God is working (stitching) His Spirit into us. This gold (divine life) is being wrought into us. Wrought gold means that the gold has been beaten and formed. The Spirit is inworking His life into our inner man until we are transformed from the inside out. This is why we never need to be condemned. As we continue to seek and fellowship with the Lord in our daily life, He is continually working (stitching) His life into us. Again, I must stress that this is a life-long process. The Spirit of the Lord changes you day by day from glory to glory. In the eyes of religious self-righteous Christians, you may be a bad person. But they are in the dark and cannot see the working that God is doing in your life. It is a hidden work and someday it will be revealed.

To not have on a wedding garment simply means that you have not given of yourself enough in your daily life to sit in His presence and be taught of Him. You may have studied the Bible, graduated from a Bible school and may have been a pastor, but you did not sit quietly in His presence to learn and be taught by Him. It is in the stillness and quietness that we find God in reality. As long as you are continually busy, you may learn much about God, but you will not know Him. Most Christians only know the God of Christianity and that is a false concept of God. Their God is a God fashioned after the carnal mind of man. Most of them believe that a loving God who created them will one day allow billions of His creatures to suffer in an endless torture of a fiery hell. They believe that He would like to save all men, but He can’t. They don’t believe that "All who die in Adam will be made alive in Christ" (1 Cor. 15:22). They believe that man’s will is stronger than God’s will. Poor God, He wants to do so much, but His rebellious creatures won’t let Him. They do not believe that "God works all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:11). They do not believe that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them" (2 Cor. 5:19). They do not believe that "this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:3-4).

I could go on and on with the false concepts we have been taught. Those who are only taught by the letter of the Word and their religious teachers will be "ever learning and never able to come the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:7). These are those who will be cast into outer darkness until they pay the price to have the oil in their vessels. I beg of you to seek God on these matters until you hear Him speak to you.

The greatest thing you can do for God is to spend time in His presence. That will afford Him the opportunity to work Himself into you.

God’s Judgment Will Be Just

Most religious leaders teach us that God’s judgment is not just. They would never say that, but that is what they teach. According to their concept, you can be a sinner for seventy or so years, and when you die you will suffer all eternity without any hope of escape. That would be an unjust judgment. This is taught because of Bible translators mistranslating the Word. The teaching of eternal torment is just not true. It was never in the original Word that was given by the Apostles.

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city" (Matt. 10:14-15).

"Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee" (Matt. 11:21-24).

Why is it that these verses on judgment are never taught by most Bible teachers? It is because if you believe them it does away with the concept of eternal torment.

We know that Sodom was the wickedest city on the earth at that time. Yet Jesus said, if the mighty works had been in Sodom that had been done in His day, they would have long ago repented. Now God, being just, is not going to punish Sodom for their iniquity more than anyone else, when they never saw the mighty works of Jesus. Jesus said that if they had, they would have long ago repented.

"The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah" (Ps. 87:6).

This means that on the day of judgment, God is going to take into account where you were born. Were you born in India and had no teaching of Jesus the Savior? Or were you born in America, where all you heard was the religious gospel based on man’s performance, not on God’s love and grace? Did you reject the God of Christianity because of their religiosity and tradition? Did you reject the God of the Christian system, yet in your heart you were hungry and sought after God? Then when judgment comes, it may be more tolerable for you than for them.

"And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12:42-48).

God is fair and just in His judgment. Did you know to do the Lord’s will? Has the Lord spoken to you and you did not do what you knew He wanted you to? You will be beaten with many stripes. Again, I must say that this is not just a future judgment. If God is speaking to you right now to do certain things and you are refusing, then you are under judgment now. He will correct you, as a natural father would correct his children when they will not do what the father knows is best for them.

For the so-called sinner who doesn’t know the Lord’s will for their life, even though they do many things worthy of stripes, their judgment (correction) will not be as severe.

No one is condemned to an eternal torment or extinction. We all will be judged, but the judgment both now and future will be just. We will not suffer because God is vengeful and wanting to pour out His anger and wrath on us. That is a horrible concept perpetrated on us by our religious ancestors.

God’s Judgment Is to Teach Righteousness

"With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (Isa. 26:9).

God’s judgments will teach us righteousness. This is why I say that judgment is a wonderful thing when you understand what it produces. There will come a day, through the judgments of God, that all the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness. The only reason God judges us is so that we will learn to live righteously. As people begin to have revealed to them the truths of judgment, they will not be angry with God when judgment comes. They will run to Him and not away from Him. Of course, the unregenerate will not respond to God’s judgment at first, but eventually they will learn of the Savior’s love, and they too will submit.

Judgment by Fire

One of the ways God judges is by fire. The word "fire" in the original is "pur". We get our English words pure, purify, and purity from this word. This is also the meaning of the original word.

Almost all the teaching of the past has reserved the fires of judgment to be just for the unsaved. There is at least one passage in the King James Bible which shows that hell is not an eternal judgment and that many Christians are going to have a portion of the fiery judgment. That passage is Revelation 21:7-8: "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

The word "part" is the Greek word "meros" (Strongs #3313). Thayer’s definition is:

1) a part

a) a part due or assigned to one

b) lot, destiny

2) one of the constituent parts of a whole

a) in part, partly, in a measure, to some degree,

as respects a part, severally, individually

b) any particular, in regard to this, in this respect

These verses indicate that if you are a Christian and do not overcome all things, you will have a part in the lake of fire. Do you have a trace of any of the above negative things in your life? If so, you will experience the fire of God for purification.

"And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Matt. 3:10-12).

What is the chaff? It is simply those things in our carnal nature that God needs to deal with. He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

"And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire" (Heb. 1:7).

"For our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29).

"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness" (Mal. 3:1-3).

"For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt" (Mark 9:49)

"If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned" (John 15:6).

What God is saying here is that if you do not learn how to abide in His presence in your daily life, you will dry up. It does not matter how much you read the Bible or go to church, or how often you offer up your religious prayers. You must find the entrance into His presence and learn how to abide in Him. If you don’t, then you will dry up, regardless of all your religious activity. He states here that if men dry up and become withered, then they are gathered and thrown into the fire. It simply means that if you don’t abide in His presence, and your natural life is in control, then Jesus will not only baptize you with the Holy Spirit, but with fire. God will throw you into the fire of tribulation. God will burn up the chaff in your life.

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:7).

All of us are going through the fire, but most of God’s people do not recognize what it is. We keep thinking that the devil is causing all our problems. We continually focus on the devil’s ability to harass us, thinking that the devil is in control, not God. With these concepts, we become devil conscious instead of God conscious. We must stop giving the devil so much attention. I know that many are going through some very hard times right now. However, the devil does not have the power to destroy that which God is doing in me. We are going through the fires of purification, but it is not caused by the devil. God will use the devil to bring judgment upon you, but it is not for your destruction, but for your salvation from rebellion and disobedience.

We need a vision that will cause us to submit to the correction of God. It was said of Jesus that He learned obedience through that which He suffered. Are we any better? The Word also says that we should be "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2).

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:7).

"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see" (Rev. 3:18).

If we appear before Him with nothing but the natural, we will be naked and exposed and ashamed. The Apostle John tells us, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming" (1 John 2:27-28).

Oh, how we need to seek God for a heart that hungers only after Him! As a Father, God knows what is best for us. We need to be able to say to God, "I don’t care what I have to go through, or how hot the fire of tribulations gets, God I don’t care what I have to do, but on the day of judgment I want to shine forth with the glory of my Father. I want to be one who can bring the multitudes to the throne of His grace. I want to be able to touch the dead and sick and bring life and healing to a lost and dying world."

God is raising up a people today and transforming them. He is not just gifting them, but He is bringing forth His fullness within them. When you are in their presence, you will be touched and healed, and you will know that God did it. Man will not get the glory. The fire of His presence burning in His people will cause the earth to learn righteousness.

"And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God" (Rev. 4:5).

Once we have the revelation that our God is a consuming fire that burns the chaff in our life, and purifies us, we are well on the road to transformation. I know how the fire hurts, but our flesh is so strong. We need a Savior. He not only saved us from the sins of the past but He is continually saving us from the workings of our flesh. I am so glad that I experience a Savior who can reach down in my despair and disobedience and bring anything into my life that He needs to for my correction and reproof.

Father, I ask that you unveil our minds to the Father-heart of God. May Your love and Your fire burn upon the embers of our hearts. Oh God, release the fire of Your presence, baptize us in the fire that would purify us. Lord, burn out everything in our beings that is not according to Your will and purpose for our lives. Father, I thank you that, no matter what it takes, You will bring us through that narrow gate that leads to life. Father, put up the barriers that would hinder us from taking the broad way, and restrict us to the way of life. Amen.

I pray that this has helped the reader to understand somewhat the judgments of God. This by no means is a complete work on the subject, but with prayerful consideration, God will reveal to each of His seekers the truth of His correction, reproof and judgment. May we never again look at Him as an angry God just waiting to pour out His horrible tortures upon His lost and dying creation. He is judging them in righteousness to bring them fully into His plan and purposes for their lives. 

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To be continued . . .

Go TO:   [Kingdom Resources]    [Sigler Ministries]